IFLA is happening right now and our very own Stephen Gilewski, Serials Solutions Sr. Software Support Specialist, is here to tell you about it. Read on for his viewpoint on this dynamic event.
The 2012 IFLA World Library and Information Congress is in full swing here in Helsinki. International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), is one of the major international organizations in the library world and the scale of the conference reflects this – it is huge. With more than 200 sessions, 4,000 attendees, and over 80 exhibitors, this is certainly the place to be.
Beyond its size, also impressive is the diversity of the conference, both in attendees and sessions. Walking through the conference halls you hear any number of languages being spoken, and the sessions even feature live translations, which attendees can listen to via headsets.
The theme of this year’s congress is “Libraries Now! – Inspiring, Surprising, Empowering.” All the sessions are then further grouped into subthemes such as “Open access and digital resources” and “Policy, strategy and advocacy,” and “Users driving access and services.”
Internet privacy issues are always of interest to me, so on Monday I attended the session “Cloud computing: its impact on privacy, jurisdiction, security, lawful access, ownership and permanence of data.” The presentation raised interesting points about how personal data is collected and stored in the cloud and some considerations libraries must make when selecting cloud based services. Details of the session can be found here.
Today I had the chance to present a paper I co-authored with Kimberly Parker of the World Health Organization. Titled “Lighthouse for the lost - applying discovery tools to lower the usability barrier for Research4Life institutions,” the paper details a volunteer project we are leading with World Health Organization and Research4Life. Numerous librarians on staff at Serials Solutions are providing their expertise as volunteers.
Research4Life provides researchers in developing countries with free or low cost access to academic and professional peer-reviewed content. To support this goal, Serials Solutions is donating Summon sites to the program. Summon will undoubtedly improve the research experience for the users, providing an intuitive, single point to search and discover content from. Though much work still needs to be done, it is really great to be part of a project that is truly making a difference.
The full paper can be read here.